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God is Able
"He (Abraham) grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God
was able to do what He had promised." (Romans 4:20-b21)
Two thousand years after his death, Abraham was remembered as a man of faith, "fully convinced God was able to do what He had promised." It was not that he was perfect that he was remembered. In fact Genesis records that he was very human. For instance, when God told him to leave his family and travel to a far land, he disobeyed and took his nephew Lot. Later he paid the price for that decision. Yet his mistakes were not counted against him, and God was faithful to His promises in spite of Abraham's weaknesses.
The emphasis of the Scripture is on God's faithfulness. Their testimonies constitute the evidence and encouragement we need to build our faith. In spite of incredible odds, impossible situations, and physical impossibilities, God honored His promises to Abraham. He gave him the land, and made him a great nation, and he has become a blessing unto generations. God is God, and He is faithful.
God is not limited by natural law, nor by traditionally accepted religious law. The Pharisees are appalled that Jesus would deign to eat with tax collectors and sinners. No self-respecting rabbi would tarnish his reputation by socializing with the outcasts of society. Yet Jesus is being faithful to His promise made in Nazareth when He read from Isaiah in the synagogue that He would preach to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and set at liberty those who are oppressed.
He went with the ruler to attend to his daughter even though the distraught father reported to Him that she was already dead. That father believed in a physical impossibility, and Jesus was faithful to that belief. It says in Matthew that the people laughed at Jesus. They must have thought the father was absolutely crazy. Think of the consequences if the father had succumbed to public opinion and Jesus had been sensitive to ridicule from people.
Along the way a woman who had been ill for twelve years, physically weak, emotionally drained, and spiritually discouraged reached out in faith, "fully convinced that He would do what He had promised," and touched His garment. Jesus sensed her presence, turned, spoke to her, and she was healed, body, soul, and spirit.
When discouragement strangles enthusiasm, and hopes are dashed by lack of faith, we need not tumble into the depths of despair. We have testimony, that God is faithful to His promises. He is faithful to His people, and we can exercise our faith in Him (though it might be the size of a mustard seed), and He will be there.
Great is Thy Faithfulness 0 God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.
(Thomas 0. Chisholm)
OUR STEWARDSHIP OF HIS RESOURCES
District Mission Support Trends
2015 2016 2017
$900,000 $900,000 $900,000
Budgeted Income $375,000 $375,000
Actual Income $358,295 $339,368 $317,446
SPIRIT OF SOUTHERN SUBMISSIONS
Remember that submissions for the July/August issue of SOS are due by July 15. The preferred means for receiving submissions is by email (email@example.com). Please send photos as JPEG files, attached to the email. Congregational news that is received but exceeds space in the printed SOS will be published on the "Around the District" blog of our website. Thank you for sharing your news!
(click on image for the current issue)
|July 7-10, 2017
||SAVE THE DATE!!
Sr. Youth Retreat
|Blue Horizon Camp
Panama City Beach, FL
|November 19-21, 2017
||2017-2018 Annual Teachers' Conference
||Grace Lutheran Church and School, Huntsville, AL
IN TRANSITION: CALLING CONGREGATIONS
Grace - Huntsville, AL
Trinity - Monroe, LA
If your congregation has extended a call, or had a call returned, please remember to notify the Southern District office.
~ CALLED TO SERVE ~
Rev. Russ Gipson (Holy Cross, Mobile, AL) to Grace, Huntsville, AL ~ Pending
Rev. Dr. Kevin Wyssmann (Bethany, Overland Park, KS) to Trinity, Monroe, LA ~ Pending
Celebrating the Ministry of Pastor and People
Anniversary of Ordination
55th - Rev. Sidney Ponseti - Emeritus - Good Shepherd, Baton Rouge, LA
50th - Rev. Adam Cooper - Emeritus - St. Matthew, Gulfport, MS
50th - Rev. Charles Pieplow - Emeritus - St. Paul, Birmingham, AL
45th - Rev. Clifford Hellmers - Emeritus - Vestavia Hills, Birmingham, AL
45th - Rev. Charles Truax - Emeritus - Open Arms, Slidell, LA
45th - Rev. Arthur Yunker - Emeritus - Grace, Mobile, AL
40th - Rev. Calvin Thompson - Emeritus - Christ, Albertville, AL
35th - Rev. William Gassett - Emeritus - Christ, Jackson, MS
35th - Rev. Steven Washington - Trinity, Selma, AL
30th - Rev. Charles Miller - St. John, Lake Charles, LA
30th - Rev. J. Richard Sawyer - Messiah, Vicksburg, MS & Holy Cross, Hattiesburg, MS
25th - Rev. Randal Ehrichs - Good Shepherd, Panama City, FL
25th - Rev. Warren Schulingkamp - Emeritus, serving First, Natchez & Trinity, McComb, MS
25th - Rev. Sanford Stanton - Trinity, Cantonment, FL
20th - Rev. Kenneth Babin - St. John, New Orleans, LA
20th - Rev. Robert Lydick - Redemption, Panama City, FL
15th - Rev. Michael Ahlemeyer - Vestavia Hills, Birmingham, AL
15th - Rev. Eric Johnson - Southern District, Slidell, LA
15th - Rev. David Moerbe - Good Shepherd, Gardendale, AL
15th - Rev. Limakatso Nare - Mt. Zion, New Orleans, LA
15th - Rev. David Tilney - Cloquet, MN
10th - Rev. Richard Rudnik - Grace, Houma, LA
5th - Rev. John Bussman - St. Paul's, Cullman, AL
5th - Rev. John Ninke - Christ Our Redeemer, Hartselle, AL
SAVE THE DATE:
ANNUAL TEACHERS' CONFERENCE
Please save the date for the 2017 - 2018 annual Teachers' Conference.
Here is the basic Information:
WHO: The teachers and DCEs of the Southern and Mid-South Districts
WHAT: Annual Conference
WHERE: Grace Lutheran School and Church, Huntsville, Alabama
Sunday, November 19 - Tuesday, November 21
WHY: For Professional Growth, Worship, and Camaraderie
For more information, contact Glenn Gerber firstname.lastname@example.org or
the Conference Chairman, Tom Naatz at Grace, Huntsville
MARTIN LUTHER: THE IDEA THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm, in Slidell, Louisiana at the Grand Theater Slidell 16, a new Martin Luther movie entitled
Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed The World will be shown. The film is produced by Tugg with funds provided by Thrivent Financial. The film tells the rousing adventure story that was Martin Luther's life, following his bold quest for truth--a journey that would reshape the church, and the world. Hugh Bonneville stars and narrates the 108 minute film. The film is perfect for Jr-Sr youth and above. There will be a short introduction before the movie begins and a Q & A session after the movie. Join Lutherans from all over St. Tammany Parish, Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans area to celebrate the 500th Reformation Anniversary!
Click on above link to purchase.
Other information including a two minute movie trailer is available on the Tugg website: NewLutherMovie.com/lcms
This is a great outreach event to invite you friends, neighbors and family to hear about salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Have questions or need further information? Please contact:
Lamb of God Lutheran Church Mission Chair
37th Biennial Convention of the LWML
"Jesus Christ Above All"
June 22-25, 2017
Join us as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the LWML!
for a PDF of the convention registration form.
The saying goes, if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. So, what do you stand for? Is it worth standing for?
Southern District Senior Youth Gathering
July 7-10, 2017
Panama City, Florida
Registration is done online by going to
Click on youth ministry tab and select senior high events.
Early Bird Registration - Monday, May 8, 2017 through Sunday, May 21, 2017 $180.00
Normal Registration - Monday, May 22, 2017 through Sunday, June 25, 2017 $200.00
The featured speaker for the Youth Gathering is Pastor Travis Hartjen. Pastor Travis is a church
planter in Allen, TX, where he helped launch Tangible Grace. Prior to that, he was a DCE and focused on the discipleship of families and students. He speaks around the country weaving the truth of Jesus with humor and anecdotes from his own life.
The Great Romance Band - Worship/Rock Band from the St. Louis, MO area - will be featured.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR CONGREGATIONS MOVING FORWARD
Pentecost and God's outpouring of His Holy Spirit brings JOY and EXCITEMENT to Christ Followers around the world. We in the Southern District are especially blessed this season of Pentecost in our mission and ministry of Making Disciples for Jesus. The Stewardship Committee is privileged to share the good news that Mrs Laurie Ninke has answered the call to serve on the Stewardship Team. Welcome Ms Laurie!
Information about the Stewardship of Our Congregations project has been shared in enough detail to identify and select congregations for the prototype test. In April, we asked regional and circuit leaders to help by identifying candidate host and satellite congregations to form the first cluster or clusters for the proof of concept effort. Last month, spiritual leaders across the district identified an initial list of nineteen congregations (19) in eight (8) circuits as potential participants. Circuit 12 had the largest concentration with six congregations, followed by Circuit 15 with three congregations identified. All other circuits had two or fewer congregations identified. We began contacting circuit visitors and pastors in Circuit 12, Circuit 15, and Circuit 4 as additional congregations make their interest known.
We have received strong interest from enough congregations in Circuit 12 to potentially form two clusters each consisting of a host with two satellite congregations. What a blessing! We have made available the project brochure and participant survey to share the envisioned way ahead. The brochure and survey are companion pieces. Together, they provide a common set of terms for understanding what the project is about and seeking the congregation's views on topics about shared ministry. We are currently coordinating calendars to meet with pastors and lay leaders from these potential host and satellite congregations. We are excited about asking and answering the right questions to include working out the details to form initial clusters for shared ministry.
Clearly, we are relying on the Holy Spirit and spiritual leaders with "on the ground" knowledge to connect alike congregations. Survey questions and interview topics guided by God's Holy Spirit will help connect host and satellite congregations with a compatible ministry context. Emphasis is on connected multi-point parishes in a cluster, never consolidated or combined.
For more information on the Stewardship of Our Congregations initiative to include interest in participating in the effort, please contact Stewardship Team members Pastor Tony Ramsey or Don Panzenhagen using contact information on the District Stewardship Who We Are web page.
WE LIFT UP IN PRAYER. . .
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;..."
John 11:25 (NIV)
These brothers and sisters in Christ coping with cancer:
Rev. Jerry Conley (Emeritus - Marianna, FL)
Mrs. Gloria Moritz, widow of Rev. Victor Moritz (Emeritus - Metairie, LA)
Rev. Sidney Ponseti (Emeritus - Baton Rouge, LA)
Mrs. Doris Taglauer, wife of Rev. Jim Taglauer (Emeritus - Folsom, LA)
Rev. David Robatzen (Lutheran Church of the Resurrection - Pensacola, FL)
These brothers and sisters in Christ coping with various health issues:
- Mrs. Melodie Rupp, wife of Rev. Bob Rupp (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
- Rev. Michael Shannon (Faith - Shreveport, LA)
- Rev. Rory Hermann (Emeritus - St. Augustine, FL)
- Rev. Dr. James P. Brown (Emeritus - Pensacola, FL)
- Dr. J. B. Marshall (Concordia College Alabama Board of Regents member)
- Rev. Dr. Edgar Homrighausen (Emeritus - Lacombe, LA)
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed. Thessalonians 2: 16-17
THE GIFT OF GENEROSITY-Electronic Giving
A definition of generous includes this phrase:
Freely sharing valuable things.
. . .no strings attached. . .no tit for tat. . .nothing expected in return.
Valuable things: your child. What is more valuable than a life of someone you love beyond measure? As we reflect on this message, remember
Those Who Don't Yet Know Jesus. Your continued support for the mission and ministry of the Southern District is requested.
If you need a convenient way to make regular offerings, we encourage you to look into our electronic online giving options.
or contact Ronnie Giaise
at the Southern District office for more information --- email@example.com.
Illustration by Patti Miller, Member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fairhope, Alabama.